Tuesday, September 18
I went back to cycling this morning, only to find myself overtaken by two twelve year olds on their way to school.
I stopped on the way to work to buy apples and bananas because I had noticed yesterday that my wooden banana holder stood completely empty.
I spent the first part of the morning writing to various people about various things. I also had a Skype call with Jutta to check on the current status of several students.
The second part of the morning passed while I worked out detailed plans for the two CMS sessions this week: so detailed that an innocent bystander might mistake them for scripts.
At midday I had a very long phone call with Naa which stopped only because I had to start teaching.
Two things of note happened during the CMS session. Firstly I did the first half of the session much faster than I intended. I had started at 13:15 and gone through the afternoon’s script by 14:30. I sent the class for a fifteen minute break, while I worked out what to do with the next two and a half hours.
When they returned two of the students asked me if I knew that the clock on the teaching computer showed the wrong time. I checked. The time on my phone said 15:45, and I sat down laughing.
Secondly, the students wanted to know how to make additional test accounts for their sites. I reminded them about disposable email accounts, and we discovered that WordPress (reasonably) had a blacklist of the better known sites.
I found a site that worked and walked everybody through the process, step by step. I created an email account for Bob Rabbit, invited him to join my site, and then created a WordPress account for him, using the email sent to his disposable email account.
One student had a baffling difficulty making this work. I looked and realised that he kept trying to make a fake account in his own name. I asked him why and he replied in a tone of complete exasperation “because I want to create a second test account for myself”. I explained what everyone else had done and walked him through the process of creating an account in the name of Freddy Fox.
He looked puzzled but when we had finished creating the account I asked him to log in. He sat there frozen. “What do you want me to do?” he asked. “Log in as Freddy Fox”, I said. “How on earth can I log in as Freddy Fox,” he shouted. Freddy Fox doesn’t exist.”
I had no idea what to say to this. The conversation became odder for a few minutes until I leaned over and logged into his site as Red Fox. He continued to look puzzled.
Irma works late tonight and so I leave as soon as the session ends and race home to free the cat, who races outside and promptly settles down to sleep on a garden chair. I notice the shadows and harsh colours the dusk has briefly created and try to photograph them. The camera captures the shadows but sees an even harsher colour palette than I do.
In the evening I will talk with Naa again.